I just managed to delete an entire post. I cannot believe it. I had such a good start this morning. I woke up so energized after a fun-packed weekend. What did we do? Where did we go? We did... nothing. We stayed home. And we were in great company.
Dear friends came and the kids did not stop playing outside while us 'grown ups' enjoyed the warm weather, great company, homemade treats and fruitylicious drinks. At the end of both days, the younger crowds went to bed with a big tired smile on their faces. And I also went into sleep mode as soon as my head barely touched the pillow. Tuning down and staying put can be a real treat.
But let's talk Gazpacho, shall we? Have you tried a cup of this cold silky tomato based vegetable soup? It is a staple in Spain and a must have in my home during hot summer months. When I lived in Spain a small glass of Gazpacho topped with a pinch of fresh ground pepper and salt was the perfect way to start a meal, basically like a light appetizer. But even better is to sip it cold as a refreshing snack in between lunch and dinner, typically when hunger strikes in the afternoon after a long swim or a day out in the heat. Thinking of its vibrant color, refreshing texture, packed with fresh vitamins, with a nice savory accent and fine cold pressed extra virgin olive oil makes me crave a cup right now.
This article from The New York Times by Julia Moskin nails it. It's all about how this popular dish is celebrated in Spain. I like her emphasis on the no-bread advise in the mix. I couldn't agree more. If you have nicely ripened plump red vine tomatoes and high quality olive oil, overall fresh ingredients, your creamy blend won't need an extra thickener by adding bread. I'll show you, let's get started:
INGREDIENTS ~ [in Spanish: ingredientes]
2 pounds vine tomatoes, nicely ripened [tomates]
1/2 sweet onion [cebolla]
1 garlic clove [ajo]
1/2 Italian green pepper [pimentón verde]
1/2 red pepper [pimentón rojo]
1/3 English cucumber, peeled [pepino]
3 Tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil [aceite de oliva]
3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar [vinagre de jerez]
1 teaspoon salt and fresh grounded pepper to taste (you can add a bit more salt at the end, when everything is blended together) [sal y pimienta]
HOW TO ~ modo de preparación:
Cut up all your vegetables into big chunks and put them in the blender together with the olive oil, vinegar and a little salt. I add a bit more salt and fresh ground pepper at the end when the Gazpacho is ready. Blend everything for 2-3 minutes, or until you get a smooth silky texture. If you can't fit all the ingredients into the blender cup, you can do it in batches. At the end mix well the entire mixture in one large pot so all ingredients get blended up evenly. Voila, it is ready. Now cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and enjoy! It holds for at least one week. And if you use it as a starter you can poor it in a soup bowl and top with small pieces of cut up green peppers, tomatoes, onions and a bit of parsley or cilantro plus, freshly roasted bits of bread or small croutons. It looks stunning and gives the Gazpacho a nice bite. I cannot wait to enjoy a cup after I hit "publish". Enjoy and please share with me your favorite gazpacho recipe if you have one!